Chapter Six - A Mathematical Interlude


Imbued by the creator with the virtues of chastity, tolerance and forgiveness, given the gift of providing comfort for their men folk, their providers and protectors, their fathers, husbands and sons, and bringing forth that great gift of the creator, the children which allow mankind to prosper and spread their dominion over God's creation.

Science has shown us that their small brains lack the capacity for that higher thought in which men excel. Their brains are made to cope with the demands of domesticity, the rearing of children, cooking, cleaning and comforting their men. This is a noble calling , lacking perhaps the intellectual challenges of the manly arts, but suited to their capacity.

But every so often the creator, inspired by some purpose beyond our ken, brings forth a sport. A woman whose mind turns not to matters domestic, but to science, to mathematics, to manly pursuits. One the softness of whose femininity is coarsened by the pressure of intellectual matters unnaturally present in her mind. And this pressure leads to inevitable downfall and corruption.

"She is her father's daughter" they said.

Wilful, headstrong, determined to have her way.

"She has all his vices"

The arrogant swagger as she walked, the tossing mane of black hair, the gypsy glint in her dark eye.

"No good will come of it."

But her beauty seduced the minds of weaker men, and they allowed her to take her place in their pursuit of the unknowable.

"She has a natural gift for mathematics" they said.

Perhaps. But that gift, given by God, perhaps, or, perhaps from a more sinister master sowed the seeds of her descent into the abyss.

The grotesque figure of Darwin presided over the meeting. Bent by the excesses to which he submitted his ravaged body, but the mind still possessing an evil clarity.

"Science is not enough" his deep voice rumbled "we must capture the soul as well."

"But how?" the speaker, a slender young man entranced by this magisterial figure. "your doctrine denies the existence of the soul. Are we not just animals?"

"We are animals, but the common people will not wish to hear that." He smiled. "Yet. We need to sow the seeds of doubt first. We will reap the harvest in good time."

She laughed, a high note in the darkness of that room, that pit of damned souls.

"What amuses you so?"

"The monstrous trick we will play. The souls we will capture. The damnation we will bring."

"Did you not read the draft of my book? I thought that I presented a case so carefully constructed that few would uncover it's deceits."

"Then I am one of those few." Her eyes glinted in light of myriad candles. "Do not forget that I am a master - yes, a master, for my mind is not that of a woman - of mathamatics."

She leaned forward into the light from the candelabrum, the evidences of her womanly form thrust against the white of her bodice, every eye on her, the licentious instincts of that fell company aroused.

"Leave us, " Darwin roared, sweeping the denizens of that place away with a gesture of his arm.

There were murmurings of dissent, but he repeated the injunction in a quiet, deadly voice which sent a chill of fear through weak spines and addled brains.

They faced each other over the polished table.

"Mathematics" she repeated "proves you false"

"I know that my doctrine is false. But how does mathematics prove that."

She leaned forward, her breasts heaving under thin silk, but his eyes remained fixed on hers.

"Show me." He demanded.

"Think of beginnings" she said "think of how it all started. Think of how the whole of your doctrine rests on the beginnings of all living things."

She reached into the deep valley between her breasts, pulled out a sheaf of papers, and spread them on the table between them.

"Think of possibilities. You understand gaming, the throw of a dice, the nature of randomness?"

"I lost a fortune on dice before I realised that I could not beat the mathematics."

"Think of that place, that warm pond perhaps, where life started."

"Warm pond? An interesting conceit."

"The atoms and molecules in rapid motion, joining and parting in their myriads. How can such combinations create a living organism in a single instant? How can such a thing happen? It would be as unlikely as throwing a six a million million times, with no other number appearing, in a million million throws. The mathematics prove it so, and so it must be, or your doctrine is founded on sand."

"You have written all this down?" he asked.

"Only here."

"Why are you not afraid of me?"

She came round the table, and stood close to him

"I am afraid of no man" she breathed. She leaned forward, but his eyes remained on hers, not on the pulchritudinous flesh quivering before him.

"Give me those papers." His voice was hoarse but steady. He held out his hand. She dropped her head.

He held them in the flame of a candle, held them while the flames consumed them, and dropped the last burning fragments onto the table. There was a strong smell of charred wood, then the fire fizzled away. He brought his hand down onto the black fragments, crushing them into dust, sweeping them away.

"Gone forever" he rumbled, "gone forever."

Her breathing was fast and shallow.

"You are my master. " she spoke in a low voice. "no man has mastered me before."

She clasped her hands at her throat. Then she gripped the cloth of her bodice, and in a single motion tore it apart.

"I am yours."

He grasped her, drew her to him, his hands busied themselves, divesting her of her clothing.

The coupled like animals, oblivious to anything but the satiation of their lusts.

"Animals" she cried in the height of her passion "we are animals. There is no morality. We must sacrifice all to the gratification of desire."

While he yet slept in the dark, she slipped away from him, gathering her clothing, seeking to clothe herself in the semblance of respectability. Returning to her loveless marriage. Yet as she walked the streets respectable men and women drew away from her, sensing the corruption she carried in her which no fair clothing could conceal.

Darwin was done with her. She had been used and cast aside. She turned her mind to other things.

"Babbage" she mused "his engines have ...potential"

Lovelace, loveless. Beyond Aid.

First posted 24th March 2007
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